After the events that transpired in the Dec. 1 episode of “Agents of SHIELD,” appropriately titled “Closure,” one thing has definitely become certain: Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) is one bad dude. While the character of Ward has gone through some changes since the show’s inception, it’s the murder of Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer) that really drove home how much of a shift Ward has gone through.
Leading into the mid-season finale, “Maveth,” it looks like things are only going to get darker and more violent in Ward’s world. While this may be upsetting to fans, Brett Dalton tells Zap2it, he’s nothing but grateful for the opportunity. “At the end of the day, I’m just an incredibly lucky person to have this particular role and to have writers throw me such curve balls they also know I can hit.”
Dalton explains he never expected Ward to get so evil: “I really thought that I was just going to be playing the very first version of Grant Ward for the next couple of years. Then this big thing happened in Season 1 and I took it as an opportunity and I ran with that thing. It was a lot of fun and I think they saw how much fun I was having with it and thought it was quite interesting to leave this door open.”
That open door has led Ward down a pretty dark road and it’s taken Dalton a while to fully embrace the villainous nature of his character.
He explains, “At first, I really didn’t know how to respond to it. Everybody loves Coulson (Clark Gregg). Everybody loves Fitz. We’d do these Comic-Cons and have these panels together, and a lot of times I’d get these questions with very emotional responses about the things I’ve done on the show. And I was like, ‘Oh man, I just want to receive some love!'”
Dalton continues, “But I am definitely coming to realize that an impassioned emotional response is an incredibly good thing. It means that people are invested and connecting with the character and if they hate you, it means that they also care enough about you to hate you.”
After murdering Coulson’s girlfriend, it looks like there is no redemption in sight for Ward and Dalton seems completely fine with that. “I totally understand the position I’m in now. If you think you’re the hero and you walk on stage getting boos and hisses, you can take that personally. But if you know you’re the villain and you walk on stage an get boos and hisses, then you can play with it. Once I changed my mindset, it suddenly became this really exciting thing.”
Another interesting shift in Ward’s story is how his actions are effecting that of Agent Coulson. Last week, Coulson followed Ward and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) into the portal with one motive: revenge. This is a very different Coulson than fans have seen in previous seasons of the show and according to Dalton, Ward is “proud in a strange way.”
He explains, “[Coulson’s] taken a page out of my playbook. He’s playing dirty in a way that would make Ward proud in a strange way. So, I’m acting with a different Coulson here. But this is a different Ward as well.”
Driving the point home, Dalton sheds some light on Tuesday’s episode in saying, “He’s sort of expanded his focus. He’s not just about revenge on Coulson anymore. We saw, even in the preview, Ward says the words ‘Hail Hydra.’ That’s the first time he’s ever said that on the show. Something is happening on that other side that is getting him to see a bigger picture.”
“Agents of SHIELD” airs Tuesday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.